The Global Resource For Connecting Buyers and Sellers

UK university training centre aims to fuse AI into metals industry

A new training centre at the University of Leicester aims to use the skills in data and artificial to boost the UK metals industry.

The new £18 million ($23m) Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Digital Transformation of Metals Industry (DigitalMetal) has been funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), who announced £7m ($8.9m) in funding with partner universities (Birmingham, Leicester, Loughborough, Nottingham and Warwick) and industry.

The centre is part of the UK’s biggest-ever investment in engineering and physical sciences doctoral skills, totalling more than £1 billion ($1.28bn), announced by Science, Innovation and Technology Secretary Michelle Donelan.

A total of 65 Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Centres for Doctoral Training (CDTs) will support leading research in areas of national importance including the critical technologies AI, quantum technologies, semiconductors, telecoms and engineering biology.

The DigitalMetal CDT has been designed to meet a national, strategic need for training a new generation of technical leaders able to lead digital transformation of metals industry and its supply chain with the objective of increasing agility, productivity and international competitiveness of the metals industry in the UK. 

It will provide postgraduate training that combines metals and alloy engineering with digital technology and AI skills, to help the UK metals and manufacturing industries to reap the benefits of ‘big data’.

The vision, the University said, is to train future industry leaders who can rapidly take advantage of the latest discoveries in manufacturing processes through digital twinning to enable defect-free, ‘right first-time’ manufacturing at reduced costs.

The metals industry is a vital component of the UK’s manufacturing economy and makes a significant contribution to key strategic sectors such as construction, aerospace and space, automotive, energy, defence and medical, directly contributing £20bn ($25.5bn) to UK GDP, and underpins over £190bn ($243bn) manufacturing GDP.

“Without a new cadre of leaders in digital technologies, equipped to transform discoveries and breakthroughs in metals and manufacturing technologies into products, the UK risks entering another cycle of world-leading innovation but losing the benefits arising from exploitation to more capable and better prepared global competitors, Professor Hongbiao Dong FREng from the University of Leicester School of Engineering, and Director of the Centre said in a media statement.

“For the UK metal industry to lead at a global level, we must raise its competitiveness and create robust and agile manufacturing processes and sustainable supply chains enabled by digital technology.”

Source: MINING.COM – Read More